Stuffed and Unstrung: Interview with Brian Henson and his Miskreant Puppets
Hire a babysitter, stock the fridge with treats, sit the kids in front of the boob tube and press play on “The Muppets” DVD. They’ll never even notice you jumped ship, that’s the power the late Jim Henson’s creations hold. The kids will also never guess that you stepped out to see the Muppets yourself, or at least their naughty cousins.
The Miskreant Puppets are the stars of Henson Alternative’s newest show, “Stuffed and Unstrung.” Actually, you’re the star of the production, as the shows revolve around the suggestions thrown out by the audience. It’s traditional improv in a non-traditional setting. Henson’s son Brian is at the helm of this successful experiment along with a familiar face from Hollywood, Patrick Bristow. Henson, a gang of master puppeteers and yards and yards of felt create silly scenes from settings and ideas yelled out by ticketholders.
The best part? The puppeteers do their thing out in the open. Cameras film the puppets up close and giant screens project the activity, but you can choose to watch the men and women giving life to these quirky, and sometimes very risque, characters.
Brian Henson, Patrick Bristow and puppeteers Peggy Etra and Victor Yerrid sat down with FM News to talk about the show’s adult themes and how stage fright is an improviser’s best friend.
Listen to the full interview below:
Henson brought along some of his furry friends for the interview. A wall of about 90 puppets in all shapes and sizes (hotdogs, aliens, rabbits, cavemen) sits on stage with the performers and at the battle cry of "Puppet Up! before each scene is about to begin, they scramble over to choose their creature.
(From left to right, Victor Yerrid, Patrick Bristow, Peggy Etra and Brian Henson)
"Stuffed and Unstrung" is playing a special week-long engagement at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre as part of the TBS Just For Laughs festival.
Showtimes: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at both 7 and 10 p.m.; Sunday at 7 p.m.
Click HERE for tickets.